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‘the place commonly known as the White Horse Hill'[cartulary of the Abbey of Abingdon c. 1072-84]

The Uffington White Horse is dated from 1400-600 BCE and is thus of Bronze Age origin. It is the oldest of the chalk horses and also the longest at 365 feet.

George’s Hill

Across from the horse is George’s Hill, associated with the patron Saint as the place where he slew the dragon; ‘the blood poisoned the ground and left a white chalk scar for all to see’.

St George slaying the dragon

St George slaying the dragon, Margaret Beaufort Book of Hours, (French, c.1440-5)

Although the legend of Saint George and the Slaying the Dragon, according to Jacobus de Voragine in The Golden Legend (c.1229-1298), happened in the East and George was not adopted as the patron saint of England until the end of the fourteenth century, there was a similar existing Anglo-Saxon legend with which the hill could be associated.

The Giant’s Steps

giantsstairsthemangeruffington2

Across from the White horse there is also the Manger, a dramatic dry valley with steep rippled sides left from the retreating permafrost during the last Ice Age. These ripples are known as the Giant’s Steps.

This is a little bit of where I’m from and of who I am. The White Horse Hill in Uffington is a truly beautiful place, one that for me is full of happy memories. It is where we would go on family walks, go to eat a picnic, and go to test out our poorly made kites. I have made hundreds of wishes on the horses eye (I’m sure all of which came true…probably) and it is the spot where, as teenagers, my friends and I would camp and ‘get away’. From the top I can see my village and maybe even my house if I squint hard enough. And even now, when I get the long three hour train back from uni, its the first thing I see which tells me that I’m home. Its breathtaking and a place that is full of legend that just exudes mystery and I would encourage anyone who visits Oxfordshire to take a stroll to the top.

Here are some pictures that I have taken on my walks up there:

Not far from the White Horse is also the ancient burial ground of Wayland’s Smithy….

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